FEDERAL FUNDING LOCKED IN FOR URANNAH DAM
The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development
The Hon Michelle Landry MP
Assistant Minister for Children and Families
Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism
Federal Member for Capricornia
George Christensen MP
Federal Member for Dawson
Thursday, 17 March 2022
The Morrison-Joyce Government has locked in $483 million to build the Urannah Dam as part of our plan for a stronger future, further driving the development, and delivering for the people of Central Queensland (CQ).
Through the 2022-23 Budget, the Government is putting the money in the bank to fund the project, pending demonstration of value for money and sufficient public benefit for investment.
The proposed Urannah Dam has the support of the Commonwealth Government and while the state Labor government claimed to support the project, it has so far failed to commit to any funding.
The 970-gigalitre dam and approximately 200-kilometre pipeline network could unlock 103-gigalitres of water, enabling local producers to develop up to 20,000 hectares of irrigated agriculture.
It could also provide a secure and affordable water supply for mining, industrial and urban use, securing the region’s water future and creating new and expanded opportunities for businesses and industries.
The project could create up to 1,200 jobs during construction and support 650 ongoing positions.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government is committed to delivering the infrastructure that brings more wealth to CQ to underpin the future of towns like Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone.
“Our Government understands that building and growing our nation requires industries that produce wealth, such as the mining, agriculture and farming sectors,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“It is these industries that earn the export dollars that will help make our country as strong as possible as quickly as possible. That’s why we have put $483 million in the bank to build Urannah Dam.
“Our investment will further drive the development of Central and North Queensland, ensuring businesses, industries and households have the water security they need to grow into the future.
“This will deliver the wealth and new opportunities that will underpin a better standard of living in the regional towns and communities of Central and North Queensland.
“Our Government is getting the job done for the regions. The Labor Party won’t deliver the projects that create jobs and build regional industries because they don’t understand regional Australia.
“We stand behind regional Australia and that’s why we have put this money in the bank.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said the 50 per cent funding commitment from the Coalition Government is reinforces our commitment to regional and rural communities.
“I have fought hard for federal funding for Urannah Dam since 2013 and I’m overjoyed that 50 per cent of the construction costs will be funded by the Coalition Government,” Ms Landry said.
“The Coalition Government knows just how vital water projects like Urannah Dam are for local industries, their workers and the communities that rely on them.
“This transformative dam will go a long way to providing a viable water source to support 30 active projects and 71 new local projects, cementing the importance of this investment for communities of Central and North Queensland.
“It also stands to open up 20,000 hectares of prime agricultural land and support more than 1,800 jobs.
“It is time for the Queensland Labor Government to step up and commit the other 50 per cent of funding to this vital project. They have been beholden to the Greens and they’ve turned their back on water projects in the state for decades.”
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said locals had been talking about Urannah Dam for half a century because the project would not only secure a water supply but create new industries and jobs.
“This comes after a long fight by myself, my colleagues and some incredibly focused, hard-working locals,” Mr Christensen said.
“I’ve been fighting long and hard for this project basically since I was first elected so, now that I’m ending my time representing Dawson, it is especially pleasing to see such a strong commitment to building Urannah.”
Today’s announcement builds on the suite of dams and water infrastructure projects the Coalition is already investing in and delivering across Queensland, including:
- $600 million towards the restoration of Paradise Dam;
- $183.6 million towards the Rookwood Weir;
- $180 million towards the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme; and
- $30 million towards the Big Rocks Weir.
The Coalition Government has so far committed $22.65 million toward the development of the Urannah Dam project. A business case is underway and is expected to be completed later this year.